Becoming a Web Developer Can Change Your Life

At 23 years old I was working as a cook at a seafood restaurant and making $9 an hour. I had no college degree and no experience working with technology.

I taught myself web development using free internet resources and built a new career for myself.

By age 26 I was making $38 an hour as a web developer at a major media company.

By age 30 I was working from home full-time as a web application architect.

I am not presenting this story to brag. This story, and this site, is about showing you how you can build a career as a web developer and drastically change your life and career.

Since I started my web development career I have been able to purchase a home, earn my Bachelors and Masters degrees, and travel extensively. All of those experiences were because of my choice to build a career as a web developer.

I sincerely believe the career path I chose can work for many other people, and I hope this site helps them achieve their goals.

Robert Stowe, M.Ed.
linkedin.com/in/rstowe

What is a Web Developer & What Does a Web Developer Do?

A web developer is a software programmer who is focused on developing sites and applications for the World Wide Web.

Simply put, a web developer writes the code which is used by computers to display webpages.

Here are some everyday tasks for a web developer:

  • Work with a web designer to create new webpage designs.
  • Discuss the layout and structure of a website with the website manager.
  • Write the code to produce a new page layout for a website.
  • Create a database for a new web based application.

The role of web developer is very flexible, and that flexibility is what makes it a good career choice for a large number of people.

The Benefits of Being a Web Developer

Being a web developer offers benefits most careers cannot.

  • You do not need a college education to be a web developer.
    • Companies will hire you based on your portfolio of sites. Develop A Job is designed to help you build your portfolio and get into your new career field quickly.
  • Pay is based on the knowledge you have, not your education level.
  • Everything you need to learn is available online, free of charge.
  • Many web development jobs allow you to work from anywhere there is an internet connection, even your own home.
  • Because every company and organization needs a website you can work at a variety of places. You can find corporate jobs, non-profit jobs, full-time hours, part-time hours, and even freelance jobs where you work for yourself at your own pace.
  • The position of web developer is in very high demand and the demand continues to grow.
  • A career as a web developer offers stability and long term career viability.
    • The web is probably not going away in your lifetime, and society will always need people to work on it.

Active Web Developer Job Openings

Front End Web Developer with SharePoint - Sterling, VA

Responsibilities The Front-End Web Developer will be involved in the design and development of various products. Experience with n-tier web application

Web Developer - Chantilly, VA

…for requirements gathering, analysis, design, development and implementation of web development in an Agile Development Environment. Responsible for maintaining,

Standards Web /Database Developer 4 - Chantilly, VA

…member of the Source Foundation (SF) Standards Team in a role conducting web and tools development essential to providing clear, transparent communication across the

ETL Developer - Sterling, VA

Description: Asurion is seeking an ETL Developer who loves to learn new tools and concepts to transform technical requirements into working solutions and

Associate Conference Developer - Sterling, VA

…excellence in all our interactions. CFC has a need for an Associate Conference Developer in the CRG - Corporate Communications group. In this position you will have

Jr. Web Developer - St. Louis, MO

WellSky currently has an opening for a talented and motivated junior web developer . The role will be a member of an agile team developing new application

Software/ Web Developer II - Reston, VA

Job ID: 18-00183 AboutWeb is seeking a Software/ Web Developer II for a position at Bolling Airforce Base in Washington, DC. Role & Responsibilities: Supports

PHP Developer - Brooklyn, NY

…access to thousands of companies currently hiring PHP developers. Are you a PHP Developer ? You will be responsible for working with cross- functional teams to

Developer - Whitman, MA

…hiring front-end engineers. Want to work for a company you love? Are you a Developer ? You will be responsible for managing the interchange of data between the

Java Developer @ - Ashburn, VA

Position:- Java Developer Location:- Ashburn-VA Duration:- 6+ months Job Description: 7+ years of software development and design experience of enterprise

Mid-Level JAVA Developer - Chantilly, VA

…developing in Java and J2EE (full stack) Extensive working experience of developing java web servers (SOAP or RESTFul) using the Open source frameworks, ie , Axis,

Front-End Web Developer - Rockville, MD

…Maryland, near Washington, DC. Job Summary: Westat is seeking an entry level front end web developer with strong web design and user interface development

Front End Developer - Reston, VA

…creative and development solutions. Jellyfish is looking for a talented Front End Developer to work within our Reston, VA Office. If you enjoy design, coding,

Digital Support Analyst/ Web Developer - King, PA

…IT - Dept Overview Job Summary: The Digital Support Analyst / Website Developer will provide project leadership in both the internal and external digital

.Net Web Application Developer - Reston, VA

…Consulting and Information Technology Solutions company is looking for a .NET (C#) Web Applications Developer with TS/SCI clearance and polygraph. The successful

The Different Types of Web Developers

There are two components which deliver a website.

  1. The web server which holds the site information
  2. The browser program used to view the site (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.).

Every web developer has an understanding about both components, but many developers choose to focus on one of those components for their career. Since you are just starting as a web developer it would be good for you to learn a bit about both, then choose your area to focus on.

Web Development on the Server

Web developers who work on code on servers write the code which constructs the website. Their code pulls data and files from the server and combines them to produce the website.

Their code tells the server what to do when you send data to the server. Such as when you submit a form or send an email.

Web developers who work on server based code are often referred to as Back-end Developers.

Web Development for the Browser

Web developers who work on code on for the web browser write code which tells the browser where to lay out the pieces of a webpage. Their code tells the browser where to put text, images, and media (video, slideshows, etc.) on a given webpage.

Web developers who work on browser based code are often refereed to as Front-end Developers.

Where do Web Developers Work?

One of the great benefits of being a web developer is the flexibility of where you can work. This is just a small list of the different job types available to web developers.

  • On a product team at an advertising agency
  • In the IT Department of a major corporation
  • As member of a development team at a software development firm
  • As a freelance web developer and work on your own projects
  • Being the sole web developer at a small or medium sized company

How Long Does it Take to Become a Web Developer?

You will need two things to get your first job as a web developer:

Once you are able to produce a handful of sites and earn one or two certifications, you will have a strong enough resume to go job hunting.

Most people are capable of achieving those two goals with 6 months of part-time work and learning.

Develop a Job is a great tool for guiding your journey to a new career, but it is only one guide. We want you to succeed as web developer, so please use any resources which might help you become a web developer.

The Start Here: Web Development Podcast is another great resource for learning to be a web developer.

The Server, the Database, and the Browser

Those three components make up the basis of any website.

The server holds the files which are used to produce the website. These files include HTML files, images, videos, and the code files used to create the site’s layout.

A server is also referred to as a web server or the back-end.

Resources for learning more about web servers:

The database holds the data used in a website. The data in a database is stored in multiple tables that look similar to a spreadsheet. Each distinct database table holds data specific to a topic, function, or user.

The server adds data to the database tables and copies data from the tables. The server is the connection between the stored data and the web browser.

For example, when you log into Facebook the Facebook server copies all of the data needed for your profile from the database and sends it to your browser in a format which the browser can read .

The database is also referred to as the DB, or the data table.

Resources for learning more about databases:

The browser is the program you use on your computer to interact with the internet. There are a few different browser programs currently used: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are some of the most popular.

You tell the browser which website or webpage location you want to visit and the browser retrieves the code and data from the server for that website. The browser then shows the data in the correct layout to you.

The browser is also referred to as the client or the front-end.

You interact with the browser using these program languages:

Websites, Webpages, and Web Applications

A webpage is a single page shown in a web browser. A single video page on YouTube.com is a webpage.

A website is a collection of webpages under a single URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Youtube (youtube.com) is a website.

A web application is a website which offers advanced functionality like a computer program would. An example of a web application would be a web based calendar, or web based email. Youtube.com is also a web application

What is a Web Host?

A web host is the computer which holds the web server and database.

Setting up and maintaining a reliable host computer is expensive and difficult.

Most people and companies pay a hosting company a monthly rate to use one of their computers as a web host.

In the section Build Your First Website we will point you to a low cost web host you can use to setup your first website.

Resources for learning more about web hosts and web hosting: